Thursday, October 9, 2008

Better Swing through dynamic JVM languages...

The holy grail (?) - applying lessons learned in Web App development to Swing/desktop development. We have Python, Ruby, Groovy and now Scala on the JVM. Shouldn't they bring something to the party in terms of making my life easier to make Swing apps - which is still very tedious.

A couple good news items on this front-
Griffon for Groovy - This project shows some great promise! I hadn't been a big Groovy fan mostly because if it looks so much like Java, why not use Java? But then I realize a large impediment to starting up with Python or Ruby or Scala is the learning curve. On closer examination, it seems perhaps Groovy gets the benefits of a dynamic language while still in the overall "framework" of Java. That would be nice. One might say, 'but without the "buzz" it won't get the vast libraries of Python' - true, except for the extent to which it can just use the vast array of Java libraries. Is there an impedance mismatch? Don't know.

Monkeybars for JRuby - I just came across this project yesterday. (See It seems to have a lot of the right objectives. The interesting thing is that there is no Ruby API for Swing components - you do the actual Swing components in a Java class and the Ruby code introspects the bytecode to manipulate stuff. Well, plausible I guess.

But interestingly, I've still not come across any Python-Swing or Scala-Swing toolkit/frameworks.

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